Grape Growing in the Home Garden – Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County


Grapes are a traditional favorite of home gardeners. Whether intended for jams and jellies, wine or ornamental use, there are many varieties of grapes from which to choose. A little research will help you choose the best vines for your goals. The key to grape growing is to remember that like other plants, grapes require conscientious maintenance to be productive.

Grape Varieties

There are three classes or types of grapevines. “Vinifera” refers to varieties in the genus/species Vitis vinifera. The “American” types are varieties native to North America (or whose ancestry is native species). Concord and Niagra are American grapes. “Hybrids” are exactly as the name implies, crosses between vinifera and American types, and are grown, along with vinifera, by many eastern U.S. industries. Most of the grapes grown worldwide, including those in the Long Island wine industry, are vinifera grapes. Locally, the mostly widely planted vinifera winegrapes are Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and many others are grown as well.

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